On their 18th Saturday cooking lesson, Sue makes Meat Loaf. This is a classic recipe that may be close to the one you know. We are cruising through the 1924 book When Sue Began to Cook, by Louise Weaver and Helen LeCron. If you’re just finding this series and you want to start at the beginning of Sue’s story, click the linked book title to go to the beginning.
Notes from Sue’s Diary on the Best Kitchen Helpers
“Can you guess the names of my two favorite kitchen helpers?” Mother asked us this morning when our lesson began.
(The answer ought to have been “Robin and Sue” but I somehow knew that wasn’t it.)
“Besides my two youngsters of course,” Mother went on with a twinkle in her eye. “Well, I’m thinking of my faithful food chopper and my kind kitchen scissors. I couldn’t keep house without them. Of course we had this meat ground up at the meat market (that is the easiest way when it’s possible) but Sue knows how often I grind up leftover meat for croquettes and meat cakes, and of course I always use the food chopper.”
“The chopper’s good for raisins and figs and dates to go in cookies, too,” I suggested.
“Yes, and for cheese when it isn’t too fresh. It’s much easier to grind it than to grate it. And it’s good for dry bread and crackers, too.”
I nodded my head. It’s my job to keep Mother’s crumb-jar filled. I take the stale ends of the bread from the bread box and put them through the chopper and then into the glass jar we keep for that purpose. “You chop cabbage in the food chopper, too, don’t you Mother?” I added, remembering the cole slaw we had for dinner one day last week.
“Yes, and for dozens of other things. But the kitchen scissors are just as convenient. I use them to cut up parsley and to shred lettuce, and to cut up green and red peppers for garnishing.”
“And for cutting off the pie dough around the edge of the pan,” I said.
“Yes, and for cutting up the fruit for salad or for a fruit cup,” Mother said. “You know the food chopper would press too much juice out of the fruits.”
“But how in the world do you ever get the chopper clean after you’ve used it, Aunt Bettina?” asked Ruth Ann.
“Well, after this lesson I’ll show you girls just how to take it apart and put it together again,” Mother answered. “And of course it has to be washed just like any other kitchen tool. But to clean it quickly I always run a piece of dry bread through it. In fact, I never use it for anything without putting a piece of bread through first. The bread takes up the odors of any stray piece of food that may have lodged in it.”
Sue’s Meat Loaf
- 2 cups round steak, ground up The butcher ground it. (We would call this hamburger.)
- ½ cup pork butt, ground up The butcher ground it. (Ground pork would work fine. ¼ lb is plenty.)
- 1 cup cracker crumbs
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- ¼ tsp celery salt or use ⅛ tsp celery seed to limit the salt
- 1 tbsp onion, chopped fine
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- ½ cup milk
- 1 tbsp melted butter
- Mother had us each put our round steak, pork butt, cracker crumbs, salt, pepper, celery, salt and onion in a big bowl and mix it all up together as well as we could with a spoon.
- Then we beat the egg and added the milk and poured that into the bowl, too. We mixed it all just as well as we could.
- Then we buttered a loaf-cake pan. We dipped a little clean brown piece of paper in some butter to do it. And then we emptied our meat mixture into the cake pan. Mother had us wash our hands and then pat the meat mixture into kind of a loaf shape in the pan.
- Then we melted the butter and poured it all over the top of the loaf to make it get brown and nice.
- We each popped our loaf into a hot oven and turned down the heat to make a moderate oven of it. And then we baked our loaves forty-five minutes by the clock. When we took the meat out, it was crusty and brown, and looked dee-licious!Note: Hot oven = 425 degrees, Moderate oven = 375 degrees.